Tit 2:6-8 “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
Paul has advised Titus in concerning things he should address with the aged (spiritually mature) men, the aged (spiritually mature) women, and the young (newer in the faith) women in verses two through five. In verse six, Paul takes up instruction to the young (newer in faith) men. Remember that Paul has framed all of this to Titus as being things that become (are suitable to) sound doctrine.
Every segment of the believers that has been addressed so far have this in common: they are admonished to be sober. This is not given as instruction to refrain from being drunk. Rather, the word “sober” as used here (see Strong’s) refers to being of a sound mind or showing moderation. Having a sound (or right) mind is given by God (2Ti 1:7) and demonstrates an acquaintance with our Lord Jesus (Mar 5:15, Luk 8:35). We should rejoice greatly when we are blessed with a sound mind!
As we look at verse seven, we realize that the ministering servant of God is to not only teach these things by word, but that we are expected to live these things by example. The truth of Jesus Christ has never been about “do as I say.” Instead, every example of righteousness that we have in God’s word is based on “do as I do.” Our Biblical example of Jesus calling His disciples as well as our experience in our own lives is that His command is “follow me.” Paul tells both the Philippians (3:17) and the Thessalonians (2Th 3:9) that the ministering servants are to be “ensamples” (models) of a godly behavior.
If our sound doctrine is to have an effect on those around us, we must live what we preach. In everything we minister to God’s people, we are to be the pattern (taken from the same word as ensample and meaning “model”) of virtuous actions. We are expected to live the purity of the instruction that we give. Only in living that which we declare can we prove the honesty and genuineness of the gospel we preach. That which we declare must have the witness of the scripture as left by God’s divine inspiration.
When we use sound speech, it cannot be condemned no matter how much men may rail against it. This scripture tells us that when we have the witness of God’s word as our support, then those that are antagonistic toward the truth are confounded (ashamed). Strong’s further defines the word rendered “ashamed” as meaning “to invert or in a good sense to respect.” If we preach (and live) that which becomes sound doctrine, God will use it to invert (turn upside down) the world of those that would otherwise be antagonistic. Whether they immediately agree or not, they are left with no derogatory thing they can say of God’s ministering servant.
It is a great and fearful responsibility to be called to minister to God’s people. Ministry is not a thing to be entered into with a frivolous heart. At the same time, it is one of the most joyful and wondrous callings we can ever experience. We are human and we are frail, and we must go in the strength of the Living God. We must remember that when we sometimes fail, the doctrine of repentance and forgiveness is there for us the same as it is for those to whom we minister. We are partakers with the church in all things, not separate or above it in any way.
May God remind us often that ours is an office, which means we are placed there according to His will to serve His beloved children!